RUN247 / Running News / Mountain Running News / Ultra-Trail® Snowdonia will join the Ultra-Trail® World Tour from 2021

Ultra-Trail® Snowdonia will join the Ultra-Trail® World Tour from 2021


The 2021 UTWT calendar has just been revealed and we are pleased to announce that Ultra-Trail® Snowdonia will join the Ultra-Trail® World Tour from 2021 and beyond!

This announcement marks a significant development for the British and Irish ultrarunning scenes and has been several years in the making.

The first edition of UTS was in May 2018. 200 runners took on the 50/100-mile distance races, in the latter, just 13 finished out of 46 starters. It quickly gained notoriety in the UK ultrarunning scene as living up to its strapline ‘Beautiful beyond belief. Savage beyond reason’.

The second edition in May 2019 attracted an increased number of hardy competitors, with around a quarter coming from outside the UK. This year, just over half of those who started, finished the 100-mile race, under perfect weather conditions.

This year’s third edition was sadly cancelled due to Covid-19. Next year, the event is planned to take place on the weekend of 4-6th June, based in Capel Curig, near Betws-y-Coed. It will feature three distances: 50/100/165km with 3300/6700/10,000m+ elevation gain, respectively, of which the 100km event (UTS 100), will play host to the UK and Ireland’s first and only Ultra-Trail® World Tour event.

2021 UTWY Map

With inauguration to the Ultra-Trail® World Tour next year, UTS will be part of a global series of emblematic races around the world, sitting alongside the most prestigious ultras that are sure to be at the top of any serious ultrarunner’s bucket-list, including Western States and UTMB.

Next June, the world’s elite ultrarunners from far and wide will descend upon Snowdonia to battle it out at UTS 100 for lucrative UTWT series points, in what promises to be one of the most competitive fields ever seen on these shores at an ultra-race. At the end of the season, top-ten ranked male/female runners will enjoy their share of a huge €64,000 prize pool, with the overall winners claiming a cool €10,000.

UTS Ogwen Valley
Race Director Mike enjoying the trails of UTS in Ogwen Valley © Ian Corless

While living in Chamonix during the summer of 2017 and training for CCC, UTS Race Director Michael Jones had the vision to launch an ‘Alpine-style’ ultra, similar in nature to UTMB, in the UK. An event that would in due course bring the UTWT to the UK and in doing so, put Snowdonia firmly on the global trail running map. In 2018, his vision was realised with the inaugural UTS, which has gone from strength to strength since then.

Mike explains: “Since launch in 2018 I have worked relentlessly to develop UTS and shape it into an event worthy of hosting the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. It has been very rewarding to see that the vision I had has not been lost amongst the event’s previous competitors, many of whom no doubt entered having identified UTS as a new benchmark mountain ultra-race for the UK”

UTS 50
Nicky Spinks en-route to victory at the inaugural UTS 50 © No Limits Photography

As a UTWT 500 Point event, finishers of any UTS race will collect 3 highly lucrative ‘Running Stones’, which can be used towards entry to UTMB events in 2022 onwards and treble your chance of getting a place in the lottery. Read more about this concept HERE.

And for those lucky to already be racing at UTMB next August, in terms of date and nature of challenge, UTS offers the perfect dress-rehearsal event to help ensure you are suitably well prepared upon arrival in Chamonix. Also, thanks to being part of the tour, UTS will soon join the UTWT Virtual Club (more info HERE), so keep an eye out for a new, international, UTS-themed virtual event this winter.

Marcis Gubats UTS 100
Marcis Gubats in action at the inaugural UTS 100 © No Limits Photography

“The routes you have found are challenging and the right mix of rough Welsh terrain and nice rocky well-made paths with lots of really good views, taking me to places on routes that I have never thought to go… The organisation is superb, very friendly with great checkpoints serving a wide selection of food. I look forward to returning in 2021!” – Nicky Spinks, 2018 UTS 50 Champion.

“I had never been to Wales before; I had never done a race with so much vertical gain… I didn’t know what to expect so I had just one goal: to finish. We had amazing views, a challenging route, long climbs and technical descents. I had never felt as broken as I did on the last descent, but at that moment I knew that I’d definitely be coming back for more!” – Marcis Gubats, 2018 UTS 100 Champion

UTS 165
Many lesser frequented trails feature on the 165 route © Evan Davies

Already, UTS is notorious as an event with some of, if not the most challenging race routes in Europe, justly earning it the strapline ‘Beautiful beyond belief. Savage beyond reason’. Snowdonia National Park offers in abundance, both the terrain and trails to create a highly aspirational, technical and challenging ultra-event; a very worthy host for the Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit.

With routes that explore the area’s most scenic valleys, rugged peaks and epic landscapes, UTS’ race routes are also truly the most beautiful in the UK. Following what has been a very difficult year for event organisers globally, we look forward to welcoming trail runners from around the world to Snowdonia to experience what makes UTS so special, here in Wales next June.

UTS Snowdonia
See you in Snowdonia next June? © No Limits Photography

Next year’s UTS will take place on the weekend of 4-6th June 2021, with a reserve date of 10-12th September, should Covid-19 affect event planning. Now in its fourth year, there are three race distances on offer: 50/100/165kms, featuring 3300/6700/10,000m+ elevation gain, respectively.

2021 UTS entries are now live and with over 500 of the 800 available entries already taken, these races will sell out very soon!

Entries to all race distances are now live and are £99/£139/£179, respectively. Over 500 of the 800 available entries for 2021 have already been taken and we predict remaining entries will be taken very soon. You can read more about what’s included with entry here:

Read more about 2021 Ultra-Trail® World Tour circuit HERE.

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